Ukraine urges Crimeans to prepare shelters
Kiev has issued a warning to people living in what it called “occupied territories,” including Crimea, to prepare shelter and stock up on supplies. The appeal was posted to Twitter on Monday by an adviser to Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
Mikhail Podoliak urged “residents of the occupied territories, including the Crimean peninsula, to follow the officials’ recommendations during de-occupation measures.”
Furthermore, people should “prepare a bomb shelter, stock up on a sufficient amount of water and charge power banks right now.” Podoliak concluded his warning with the line “Everything will be Ukraine.”
The warning comes after Podoliak announced last week that Ukrainian authorities are developing evacuation routes for Ukrainians living in Crimea “who want to leave the island during the active de-occupation.”
Kiev has repeatedly insisted that it considers Crimea, which became part of Russia following a referendum in 2014, to be an “occupied territory” and has vowed to seize the peninsula “by any means necessary.”
The US-led NATO alliance also considers Crimea to be “illegally annexed” Ukrainian territory, and has demanded that Moscow return the region to Ukrainian control. A US official told Politico last month that Washington had given Ukraine its blessing to strike targets of its choosing in Crimea.
Kiev’s warning to Crimeans comes after months of warnings of a counteroffensive in the south of the country, vowing to reclaim the whole of Donbass, parts of the Zaporozhye and Kharkov regions currently held by Russian forces, as well as Crimea, which is part of Russia.